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University Hospital of North Midlands provides vital treatment for kidney failure in the home

There are two types of home dialysis that UHNM offers patients with kidney failure – home haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Home dialysis has huge benefits for patients in terms of life expectancy and quality of life and is significantly more cost effective compared to hospital dialysis. UHNM is now one of only six hospitals in the country to have more than 100 people in this form of home care and the largest in-house assisted automated peritoneal dialysis in the country, covering in excess of 150 patient visits-per-week. In April, UHNM surpassed 100 patients on peritoneal dialysis for the first time. Helen Capper, home therapies sister, said: “Keeping patients at home with minimal hospital visits and enabling them to have the treatment of their choice has improved the quality of life for patients. Being able to empower patients to manage their own condition whilst safely supporting them is at the heart of what we do here and to now be able to care for more than 100 patients in their own home at one time is a significant milestone for our service.” The home therapies team at UHNM is made up of healthcare assistants and nurses. The team offer an assisted automated peritoneal dialysis service where they visit patients’ homes to set up the dialysis machine for them. This service is particularly beneficial for patients with pre-existing health conditions or the elderly and has expanded during the past 10 years. Helen added: “Despite the most difficult of circumstances during the pandemic, the team have worked selflessly and collaboratively, far in excess of what is expected of them, to provide patients with the best possible care, to prevent hospital admissions, reduce the burden on the inpatient ward and keep existing services running. The drive and determination of the team to enable patients to be on a therapy of their choice has been inspirational. This is such a phenomenal achievement, impacting patients’ lives for the better.” Joanne James, 51, from Cross Heath, has been a renal patient at UHNM for 20 years. She said: “I have been on peritoneal dialysis for three years now and the option to have it at home is really beneficial. In the beginning the team helped me gain confidence in understanding and working the equipment after a week of training so I was ready to use it daily at home. Home based dialysis means I can still have the freedom of going to work and spending more time at home instead of coming into hospital regularly. The home therapies team are very welcoming and are there for you no matter what, and it’s really reassuring that I can stay at home knowing I have the support of the home therapies team.”


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